Chris Hannah

Our Devices Are Accessories to Ourselves


an extra piece of equipment that is useful but not essential or that can be added to something else as a decoration
The Cambridge English Dictionary

When you think of the word “accessory” in the context of technology, you’ll probably be drawn to accessories for various devices. But I think you can apply the word to the devices themselves. Especially to the smartphone. They can be very useful devices, but at the same time are completely non-essential. Although our uses suggest the opposite.

In my opinion, we treat the smartphone too much as our lens through which we see and experience the world. To a point where we forget to see the world through our own eyes.

It might not seem like a problem to most people, using our phones a lot, since they can be fun, and they can also be pretty useful tools. But we can also fall into various traps where we end up doomscrolling for hours on end, where the smartphone has taken control and is now using you. And that’s not going to go well. Because we all know the internet and social networks especially, are simply cesspits of throwaway opinions, misinformation, fuel for confirmation bias, and an endless stream of people wearing digital disguises trying to make themselves look clever or aspirational.

I’ve got a lot of opinions about the various problems with social media, and the effect it has on people, but I’ll have to save that for another day.

I don’t think we should all rush to quit using social media because it can be used in a good way, but we should take a lot of what we find on our devices and the internet with a large grain of salt. Not everything you experience through your devices is indicative of the real world.

This post is part of the warmup week for the March Blogging Challenge, the theme today is Accessories.